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Rep. Katie Porter grills Steve Mnuchin over Deutsche Bank’s suspicious Trump dealings

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Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) grilled Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin over massive losses posted by Deutsche Bank — and over the lender’s inaction over suspicious transactions by President Donald Trump.

The California Democrat asked Mnuchin during a House Financial Services Committee hearing about the German bank’s recent $3 billion loss, and whether Treasury Department banking deregulation could put investors in its U.S. subsidiary at risk.

“How did Deutsche Bank manage to lose $3 billion and not see it coming?” she asked. “How the hell do you lose $3 billion and not see that coming?”

Mnuchin said “a lot of people” lost $3 billion, and he agreed that U.S. officials didn’t want to see that happen again.

“I am familiar with some of their really bad investments, and I find it really hard to believe they made them,” Mnuchin said.

Porter pointed out that Deutsche Bank had failed its own stress tests and engaged in questionable international activity in Iran, Libya, Russia and Syria — and involving the U.S. president.

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“It came to light that Deutsche Bank had willfully decided to ignore suspicious activity reports with regard to the president and his son-in-law,” Porter said. “What is your plan to hold Deutsche Bank responsible for failing to do appropriate oversight and respond to the regulatory controls in place with regard to the SARs?”

Mnuchin said he could not comment publicly on SARs, which he read news accounts on, but promised to follow up with the committee.

“Are you planning to ask the German banking authority also to do additional oversight of Deutsche Bank, especially now that we regulate them much less than we used to?” Porter said.

Mnuchin tried to assure Porter that Deutsche Bank’s activity would not jeopardize the U.S. financial system, and he promised to speak with his European counterparts about the issue.

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‘Dangerous linguistic power’: A historian explains how Trump weaponizes nicknames

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Is Donald Trump the modern day Earl Long?

A three-time Louisiana governor, Long mastered the art of political ridicule seven decades ago by weaponizing nicknames. The hilarious names Long pinned on his rivals, and the rollicking stories he told about them, riveted audiences bored by puffed-up rhetoric.

While Long’s stunts may be remembered as silly hijinks, there was a sly, often deadly serious, purpose to his technique. He used it to get voters to laugh at his foes and to put them on the defensive––a place politicians never want to be. Tucked within Long’s jests were razor-sharp attacks aimed at exploiting opposition weaknesses––hidden swords inside a pea-patch cloak.

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Walmart got a $2.2 billion tax cut — now it’s laying off workers

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Walmart announced it will lay off hundreds of workers in North Carolina despite receiving billions in tax cuts that the Republican Party and President Trump claimed would spur job growth.

The giant retailer will lay off about 570 employees and close its corporate office near the Charlotte airport, despite signing a 12-year lease just four years earlier, the Charlotte Business Journal reported.

The work done at the Charlotte facility will be outsourced to a firm in Arkansas, according to the report.

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Amazon, Google and Facebook warrant antitrust scrutiny for many reasons – not just because they’re large

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There’s a growing chorus of U.S. politicians, antitrust scholars and consumer watchdogs calling for stricter antitrust treatment of Amazon, Google, Facebook and other tech giants. Some even say they should be broken up.

Most recently, U.S. lawmakers launched a sweeping review to determine if these companies have become so big and powerful that they are stifling competition and harming consumers, while federal regulators are also gearing up to take action.

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 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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